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AFL Union Heads
To Set Up Active
Political Campaign
San Francisco.—Carrying out the mandate of the 66th
annual AFL convention, the Executive Council announced
that a meeting of all national and international union
• presidents has been scheduled for December 5th and 6th
in Washington for the purpose of organizing “Labor’s
Educational and Political League.”
Establishment of the league was voted unanimously by
the convention as a means of combating the Taft-Hartley
law. Its purpose is three-fold:
1. io see mat union memoers
go to the polls in 1948.
2. To make known to union
members thq meaning of the ec
onomic and political policies of
the American Federation of La
bor add the evil effects of the
vicious Taft-Hartley measure.
8. To bring about the defeat
at the polls of labor's foes in
Congress and the various state
legislatures and to elect those
men who will give labor a square
Following an Executive Council
session, AFL President William
Green said the meeting of union
chiefs was called in order to dis
cuss and formulate definite plans
for the league concerning its
organisation and methods of op
eration. The convention left
such details to the union offcials
and merely authorised the estab
lishment of the league as a weap
on to be used by the AFL in the
coming crucial political 'battles
of 1948.
At a press conference, Mr.
Green said the Executive Coun
oil discussed the methods of
financing required to underwrite
the AFL’s coming educational
and political campaign, but set
no goal for the amount of money
The council was of the opinion,
he said, that regular AFL funds
could be used within the mean
ing of the Taft-Hartley law for
the purpose of carrying on the
educational aspects of the cam
paign. This embraces the task
of acquainting the workers with
AFL policies and explaining how
the provisions of the law adverse
ly affect union activities.
In regard to the political
phase. Mr. Green declared the
council decided that necessary
funds should be raised by vol
untary contributions on the part
of union members and friends
of the labor movement. Without
stating any specific sum, Mr.
Green said it was expected that
the workers would respond gen
erously to any request for vol
untary contributions to be used
for the purpose of defeating at
the polls all members of Con
gress who voted for the Taft
Hartley; law.
In another action by the Ex
ecutive Council Mr. Green was
authorized to confer with partici
pants in the Hollywood juris
dictional dispute in an attempt
to reach a satisfactory solution
to that question.
No action was taken by the
council on the „ jurisdictional
questions at issue between Dis
trict 50 of the United Mine
Workers of America and other
AFL affiliates.
San Francisco.—The Executive
Council reported a new record
payment of 852,247,761 in var
ious benefits to members of the
standard national, international,
and local unions' affiliated with
the AFL.
This total, disbursed during the
year 1946, would have been larger
had all unions submitted com
plete data to the AFL for incor
poration in the final report.
Benefits paid included those for
death, sickness, unemployment,
old age, disability, and for other
miscellaneous purposes according
to the specific provisiohs of the
benefit plans adopted by the vari
ous unions. 1
Washington, D. C.—The AFL’s
Seafarers International Union
will participate in the first col
lective bargaining election direct
ed by the National Labor Rela
tions Board under the Taft-Hart
ley law.
In ordering the election, the
NLRB acted upon a petition filed
by the union after the employer
refused to recognise it until it
had been certified by the board.
The election to be held with
in 30 days, will be among the un
licensed personnel of vessels op
erated by Cities Service Oil Com
pany of Pennsylvania (marine di
vision) in New York City. Three
hundred employes are eligible to
vote. They will decide whether
they wish to be represented by
The union’s petition for an
election was heard by a hearing
officer. The Taft-Hartley Act
bans the former practice of cer
tifying unions by cardcheck where
the parties agree to such a pro
cedure after a petition has been
filed. It also bans conduct of an
election prior to hearing, where
there appear to be no major is
sues or substantial objections.
Labor’s claim that the new pro
cedure for hearings in all cases
prior to elections is a time-wast
ing provision seems to have been
borne out. The union’s petition
was filed prior to August 22, 1947,
the effective date of the new law.
Washington. D. C.—Secretary of
Labor L. B. Sthwellenbach sched
uled a public hearing for De
cember 3 in Washington to con
sider extending coverage of Haz
ardous Occupations Order No. 4
to include most occupations in
the logging of pulpwood, chemi
cal wood, cordwood. fence posts,
and similar woods not now sub
ject to the 18_-year age minimum
under the Fair Labor Standards
Interested parties may appear
in person, or may file briefs or
statements which will be made a
part of the record of the hear
Issued by the Secretary under
the child-labor provisions of the
Fair Labor Standards Act, the
elTect of a hazardous occupations
order is to raise the minimum
age for employment from 16 to
18 years in occupations found
upon investigation to be particu
larly hazardous for minors. Haz
ardous Occupations Order 4, which
became effective in 1941, estab
lished a minimum age of 13
years in saw-timber logging and
sawmilling occupations, but did
not apply to occupations in the
logging of pulpwood, etc.
Six ■ other Hazardous Occupa
tions Orders have been issued
since the basic minimum wage,
overtime and child-labor provi
sions of the Fair Labor Stand
ards Act went into effect in 1938.
Issued after investigatitfn and
study of the industries concern
ed, these orders establishing 18
years *s the minimum age for
•mployment deal with occupa
tions In plants manufacturing ex
plosiveK: Occupations of motor ve
hide driver and helper; coal
mining; operation of power-driven
woodworking machines; occupa
tions involving exposure to rs
dio-active substances; operation of
power-driven hoisting apparatus.
Washington, D. C.—AFL Pres
ident William Green announced
the appointment of Lewis G.
Hines, AFL national legislative
representative, to the AFL’s Vet
erans Committee.
Mr. Hines takes the place on
the committee formerly held by
the late Robert J. Watt.
NLRB Forms Policy
On Cases Filed Before
Passage Of Labor Law
Washington, D. C.—In a precedent-setting decision the
National Labor Relations Board refused to order an em
ployer to bargain with a union in a case arising before
the Taft-Hartley law went into effect unless the union is
eligible to use the board’s machinery under the new law.
The board’s order was the first
issued on a backlog of unfair
labor practice cases which were
started prior to August 22, when
the new act became fully opera
Pending are 225 unfair labor
practice cases which were heard
before August 22 and are await
ing decision. The ruling, there
fore, has widespread significance.
In order to become eligible,
union leaders must swear they
are not Communists and must
submit financial and organiza
tional data to the Labor Depart
ment as required by the Taft
Hartley Act.
The Marshall & Bruce Co.,
Nashville, Tenn., was ordered to
bargain with the AFL Book
binders Union, if officers of the
latter sign the non-Communist
affidavits and otherwise comply
with the act in 30 days.
Chairman Paul M. Herzog,
members James J. Reynolds, Jr.,
and J. Copeland Gray issued the
3-to-2 majority decision on the
Tennessee case. AI1 five members
agreed that the board has the
power to dispose of the cases
pending before the new law be
came operative and to remedy
any unfair labor practices which
existed before that time.
Members John M. Houston and
Abe Murdock contended that the
bargaining order in the Mar
shall A Bruce case should not be
conditioned on union compliance
or noncompliance with the Taft
Hartley Act.
The majority said it believes
“that to direct the respondent to
bargain with thq union and thus
in effect, to place the union in
the position of a newly certified
bargaining representative, would
not effectuate the policies of the
act. unless and until it qualifies
for certification under section 9
(F), (G) and (H) within a reas
onable time.
“Although the present proceed
ing does not involve the actual
certification of a bargaining rep
resentative,” the majority con
tinued, “an order requiring an
employer to bargain collectively
with a labor organization is
often tantamount in practice to a
certification of the latter as bar
gaining representative. It looks
toward a future relationship.”
Seeks Quick
To Retard
Washington, D. C.—President
Truman declared he will ask
'■ Congress to take “timely and
| forthright action*’ to elleviate
I the double-barreled problems of
1 high prices at home and hunger
, and cold abroad.
' In a radio address to the Amer
ican people explaining his de
' cision to call a special session of
Congress for November 17, Mr.
Truman said the other alterna
: tive would be to wait, “until de
, pression caught up with us” at
1 which time Mother democratic
nations would lose hope and be
come easy victims of totalitari
an aggression.”
1 “Our domestic prosperity is
endangered by the threat of in
flation,” the President declared.
"The peace of the world is en
dangered by hunger and cold in
other lands.”
Calling for prompt congression
al legislation, Mr. Truman said
“the need is too pressing, the
results of delay too grave, for
congressional action to wait until
the next regular session in Jan
The President did not disclose
the measures he intends to ask
of Congress, but \ indicated that
when the special session con
venes he will pro|pat a definite
program to combat inflation. He
emphasised the seriousness of
the situation and traced the
plight of many of the nation’s
citizens who are caught in the
squeeze between high prices and
insufficient income. He said:
“We now have, and will con
tinue to have enough food and
clothing and other goods' in the
United States to meet our needs,
but excessively high prices’ mean
that these goods are not being
distributed wisely and fairly.
High prices ration the essentials
of life by squeezing out the less
fortunate of our citizens. We
can meet this problem only by*
bringing prices into line with the
incomes of our people.
“The American people now hav.»
a compelling need for protection
from the dangers of price infla
tion and the rising cost of living.
They recognize this need and are
asking for the protection to,
which they are entitled. The
government must assume J
larger share ofi responsibility for
putting an end to excessive prices
and the dangers and hardships
which accompany them. For this
purpose, prompt enactment by the
Congress of comprehensive legis
lation is necessary.”
Turning to a discussion of the
foreign aid requested of Congress,
the President reiterated this na
tion’s policy of assisting free
men and free nations to recover
from the ravages of war. He
“We follow that policy for the
purpose of securing the peace
and well-being of the world. It
is nonsense to say that we seek
dominance over any other nation.
We believe in freedom, and we
are doing all we can to support
free men and free governments
throughout the world.”
Mr. Truman praised the Mar
shall Plan as one which “pre
sents great hope for economic
security and peace” in western
Europe. He indicated, however,
that it cannot be implemented
for several months and that
there is vital need for immediate
“A period of crisis is now at
hand. The perils of hunger and
cold in Europe make this winter
a decisive time in history. AH
the progress of reconstruction
and all the promise of future
plans are endangered. If Eu
ropean nations are to continue
their recovery, they must get
through this winter without
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San Francisco—John J. O’Leary,
vice-president of the United Mine
Workers of America, died of a
heart attack in St. Lukes Hos
pital here. He was 66 years
Mr. O'Leary attended the AFL
convention here and was stricken
with a heart attack two days
after completion of the sessions.
He was taken to the hospital,
where he remained until his death,
which resulted from a third at
tack. —
Mr. O'Leary rose to prominence
in organized labor after a hum
ble start as a miner. In hi3
youth he worked in the mines
near Pittsburgh as his father,
George O’Leary, had before him.
He carried a union card since
1898 and first became a union
official in 1910, when- he was
elected to the board of District
•'». UMW, which embraces most
of the Pittsburg soft coal area.
In 1916 Mr. O’Leary succeeded
Philip Murray, present CIO head,
•is a member of the UMW inter*
national executive board.
He held this post until 1942,
when he wag personally chosen
by Mr. Lewis to serve the unex
pired term of Mr. Murray
Washington. D. C.—Many con
sumers who planned to buy auto
mobiles or homes within the next
five years have abondoned their
plans for at least 12 months “be
muse of high prices.”
This was revealed in a survey
conducted by the Federal Reserve
Board on the financial condition
and buying plans of consumiff.
The survey, said, however, that
with respect to other items such
as washing machines, refrigera
tors, furniture and the like, the
public is carrying out its intend
ed purchases regardless of prices.
Truman Calls A
Special Session 01
Congress Nov. 17
Washington, D. C.—President Truman summoned Con
gress to meet in special session on November 17 to con
sider the twin problems of emergency foreign aid and
domestic inflation. ’
In his proclamation calling for the session, Mr. Truman
cited these problems as his two “compelling reasons” and
announced that he would make a radio address to the
nation explaining in more detail the present situation at
home and abroad..
Washington, D. C. - The com
bined total of public and private
debt in the United States dropped
during 1946 for the first time since
1931, according to a statement is
sued by the Commerce Depart
The 15 billion dollar reduction
leaves the total debt in the neigh
borhood of 6393 1-2 billion, or
62,050 for each man, woman and
child, the statement said.
Commerce Department figures
attributed about 6160 billion of
the total to debts of individuals
and corporations. Of the public
debt of about 6243 billion, Uncle
Sam owes some 6230 billion and
state and local governments make
up the remaining 613.6 billions
The department said that pri
vate debt increased abou( 68 bit*
lion in 1946, but was more than
offset by a reduction of 623 bil
lion in the debt owed by the Fed
eral Government.
Convention Urged To
Support Friends And
Oppose All Enemies
Delegates to the AFL convention heard a strong plea for
reaffirmation of the Gompers policy of supporting or op
posing political candidates on the basis of their attitude
toward labor irrespective of their party affiliation.
Harry Stevenson, president of the Molders and Foundry
Workers’ Union of North America, in an address to the
convention, urged every AFL international officer “to go
back to the local unions and see that they take part” in
an active campaign to get out the vote and to pick candi
dates on he basis of their friendliness toward labor's cause.
He related the experience of Local 146 of the Molders'
Union in San Francisco.
“I find that our local union right here in San Francisco,
I^ocal 146, some time ago appointed a special committee
to interview all of the members to make sure that they
were registered. They came across some who had not
voted for eight or nine years, but I am happy to say that
through the work of the local union here, every member of
Local 146 is registered 100 per cent."
Mr. Stevenson called upon the delegates to forget wheth
er "we are Republicans or Democrats” and unite their
efforts in the campaign to fight the Taft-Hartley law.
He related an experience he had in connection with the
jjolitical campaign in eastern Pennsylvania. He said:
“I was down in the eastern Pennsylvania district just
two weeks before the election in the eighth district, where
they reported so much about defeating the Democratic can
didate in that, district.
“While I was there, I found that a letter had been
given out to the workers in different factories signed by
the Bucks County Republican Committee of Doyleston, Pa.;
Mr. Harry A. Clayton, chairman; Mrs. Clarence J. Buck
man, vice-chairman r and they gave out this letter, which
states that 85 per cent of labor does not know what is in
the Taft-Hartley bill.
“Then they handed out this long letter that they gave to
the workers. They sneaked into the shop at noon time,
because I know in the particular foundry I got this in,
the company had no knowledge it was given out. Some
of the things that are said in this letter are as follows:
“ To the Workers: You can’t be fired by your union
under the Taft-Hartley Act so long as you pay your initia
tion, pay your dues.’
“Listen to this: The union can’t have you laid off
because they don’t like your race or your religion.’
“That is put out by the Republican Party. Then they
say again: “When you join a movement to smash the
Taft-Hartley Act before it has had a fair trial and to steer
the government out of trying to enforce it, you are putting ’
another man’s handcuffs on your wrist.’
“That ie the propaganda that is being put out by the
Republican Party.”
At its recent convention in San
Francisco, the American Federa
tion of Labor noted the gravity
of the need for foreign aid and
for action to combate the nation’r,
present high prices. The conven
tion pledged the AFL to sup
port the Government’s voluntary
campaign to alleviate these sit
uations on an equal sacrifice
Mr. Truman skid that congres
sional action on a foreign relief
appropriation could not wait un
til the regular session of Con
gress In January because avail
able funds were sufficient to keep
France provided with food and
fuel only until the end of the
year and because Italy would re
quire substantial aid before
Action by Congress also was
necessary “to put an end to the
continued rise in prices," the
President said. He propoeed to
for dealing with high prices and
inflation when the Congress con
venes in special session.
The President’s discussion on
inflation was emphasised by the
latest figures on the cost, of liv
ing released by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics. The dizsy
spiral in the cost of foods and
services purchased by moderate
income families has reached a
level 25 per cent above that pre
vailing on V-J Day, August 14,
Food, which accounted for 33.5
per cent of the family budget in
August 1939, accounted for 40.8
per cent in August, 1945, and
today nearly 44 per cent, ac
cording to BLS figures.
President Truman placed at
$642,000,000 the amount of the
stop-gap appropriation for which
the special session was primarily
summoned. He fold the leaders
of Congress about $375,000,000
was needed for France and $285,
000 for Italy for food and fuel
purchases through March 31 of
next year.
Excerpts from the President’s
statement on the need for call
ing the special session follow:
“There are two compelling
reason’s for convening the Con
gress at an early date.
"It is urgently necessary for
the Congress to take legislative
action designed to put an end
to the continued rise in prices,
which is causing hardship to mil
ions of American families and
endangering the prosperity and
welfare of the entire nation.
Whan the Congress mqets, I
shall recommend to it suitable
measures for dealing with infla
tion, high prices and the high
cost at living. I
“It is also necessary for this
Government to take adequate
steps to meet the crisis in west
ern Europe, where certain coun
tries have exhausted their finan
cial resources and are unable to
purchase the food and fuel which
are essential if their people are
to survive the coming winter.
“It now appears that thq min
imum needs of France can be
met with present funds only until .
ibout the end of December, and
that it will enter the new year
without funds to pay for essen
tial imports. Italy’s needs are
tven more immediate, for Italy
rill require substantial assistance
mfore the end of this year.
Moreover, it appears that ad
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